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19th Century Newspaper Abstracts Relating to Taliaferro County

Fatal Accident on the Georgia Railroad

The up passenger train on the Georgia Railroad ran into the down freight train last night, killing the engineer and fireman of the passenger train, and one of the passengers. Three others had their legs broken. The accident on the Georgia Railroad occurred near Crawfordville. Mr. Baldwin, the engineer was not killed, but cannot recover. No passengers were hurt. Three cars were smashed.

The New York Times
September 25, 1854

The District of Georgia – Important Order by General Terry
Military District of Georgia
Atlanta, Ga., Jan. 12, 1870

General Order No. 1. – A sub-district, to consist of the counties of Warren, Taliaferro, Wilkes, Lincoln, Columbia and Glasscock, in Georgia, is hereby constituted, and Brevet Major Jacob Kline, Captain Eighteenth United States Infantry, is assigned to its command, with headquarters at Barnett Station, Warren County.

Brevet Major Kline will be held repsonsible for the preservation of order within the limits of the sub-district, and will promptly arrest all persons who commit or have committed acts of violence or lawlessness, or in any way disturbed the public peace, holding them subject to instructions from these headquarters, and reporting in each case his action by mail or telegraph, as the occasions may require; he will report also the name of any civil officer who may neglect or refuse to discharge his duty in maintaining the public peace, and will recommend a suitable person to fill his place.

By order of Brevet Major-General Terry
J.H. Taylor,
Assistant Adjutant-General

The New York Times
January 17, 1870

Through the South

About sixty-four miles from Augusta, on the Georgia Railroad, is located the town of Crawfordville, the county seat of Taliaferro County. In its own right, the place possesses nothing to attract the traveler’s attention; its population hardly amounts to five hundred souls; its trade, though good enough for a place of its size, would hardly be deemed worthy of notice among the busy marts of the commercial Metropolis – its old Court-house, built, according to the inscription, in 1828, is of plain brick, surmounted by a little wooden cupola, and surrounded by the high hitching-posts for the country gentry fond of this sort of “courting;” no large residences mark the abode of some princely planter, no large and venerable trees invite the passer-by to seek shelter from the noonday heat in the sade of their overhaning foilage… Yet within its precincts is found the home of one of Georgia’s greatest statesmen, the residence of one whose name his townsmen dwell on with pride, and whose person they all respect and love. It is the home of Alexander H. Stephens, one of the ablest exponents every vouchsafed to the doctrine of State rights, the Ex-Vice-President of the so-called Southern Confederacy, “Little Aleck,” as the villagers call their hero. I spent last Monday at Crawfordville, and thinking some account of a visit to Mr. Stephens might prove interesting to many, will attempt to give a sketch of my visit to Liberty Hall.

Mr. Stephen’s proverbially, and in his present affliction being confined to the house, he is always glad to welcome a visitor. Sending on my letter of introduction, as a sort of herald of my apporach, and accompanying the herald by a “flag of truce” in the shape of a letter explaining that my mission was non-professional, and intended to be of a purely social nature, I opened the gate to “Liberty Hall” at about 2 o’clock on Monday afternoon. Mr. Stephens’ home stands on a little hill to the right of the railroad track, going north. It is a plain, unpretending, three-story frame house, in the centre of quite a large square lot. Trees and flowers are scattered about the grounds without any pretense to order or beauty. A row of trees, however, lines the approach to the house, and from the porch you have a view the whole length of the main street in Crawfordville. On the left of the house are the out-buildings, kitchen, and servants’ quarters. Walking up the steps to the door, which is always open to the stranger, a bright-looking mulatto girl came forward, to whom I gave my name. Being requested to “walk in,” I followed her through the hall, extending through the centre of the house, and passing through the library, a chaotic-looking apartment, filled with everything and all its relatives, entered Mr.  Stephens’ room. Warm as was the day, a bright coal fire was burning in the grate, and every window was firmly fastened down – Mr. Stephens being a victim of that air-abhorring disease known as rheumatism. A cheery “Ah, how do you do, Mr. ____, glad to see you, Sir,” directed my attention toa little figure sitting in a chair by the fireside, wearing a warm felt hat and smoking a good sized pipe. Shaking hands with Mr. Stephens, he introduced me to the other two gentlemen in the room – one his physician – and assuring me that his pet dog, who had set up a violent barking as I entered, was “blind and would do no harm,” he courteously offered me a chair, and I profited by the few minutes during which the gentlemen were leaving to look around the room. I have seen more comfortable rooms. Two beds stood against the wall, a book-case in each corner, a few chairs and a couple of tables littered up with a confused mass of papers, letters, books, documents (among which I noticed a pamphlet speech by Senator Bayard) and newspapers made up the furniture of the room. On the floor were scattered in wild profusion copies of newspapers from every section of the land…

For three hours and a quarter Mr. Stephens talked with me on almost all subjects, and my only regret was that the time was up so soon. Firm in his convictions, emphatic and at times eloquent in his comparisons, illustrating all points with illustrations drawn from a long life of varied experiences, full of reminiscences of the old political times when statesmen filled the place now occupied by politicians. Mr. Stephens could not but be entertaining as well as instructive. I was amused during our interview, with the freedom in the manners of the children of his household servants. They came in and out at will, squatted on the floor and played with the dog, or stood before the fire and started to their heart’s content, took part in the conversation whenever they desired …. In his bachelor life his servants are his family and their welfare has always been a source of anxiety and comfort to him…

I enjoyed my visit exceedingly, and should have been glad had I been able to accept his invitation to spend the night with him. On leaving the house I met his physician, and inquired about Mr. Stephens’ health. He said that his general health was better than it had been for some years back. It may be remembered that the fall of a gate deprived him of the use of his lower limbs….

The New York Times
April 28, 1871

A Body Servant of Mr. Stephens Dead

Hon. A.H. Stephens received a telegram yesterday while he was at the Capitol announcing that his old servant, Harry Stephens, died at “Liberty Hall,” in Crawfordville, Ga., yesterday morning of pneumonia. Harry has been the major domo of Liberty Hall for thirty years. Mr. Stephens bought him in 1851 and placed him in charge of all his affairs at his home. Harry was Mr. Stephens’ body servant during all that time until about five years ago, when his present body servant, Alleck Kent, was secured in that capacity. Harry was well known by all habitues of Washington, before and since the war, who knew Mr. Stephens. The death of Harry has caused great grief to Mr. Stephens and he deplores his death very much. The deceased was worth about $20,000 in his own right.

The Washington Post
January 22, 1881

Governor Stephens Dying
His Life Despaired of by His Doctors and Friends

Atlanta, Ga., March 3. – Governor Stephens is considered to be in a dangerous condition, and the belief in general that he will not recover from his present illness. Later Mr. Stephens is still very low and if possible, worse to-night. 11 P.M. Mr. Stephens is dying. His physicians say he cannot live three hours.

Alexander Hamilton Stephens was born in Wilkes, now Taliaferro county, Georgia, Febrary 11, 1812. He graduated at the University of Georgia in 1832 and was admitted to the bar in 1834. He was a member of the Georgia legislature in 1836-7-8-9-40 and ’41, and a member of the State senate in 1842. He first entered Congress in 1842, and served continously sixteen years, when he declined re-election. In 1860 he was run on the Douglass and Johnson ticket, was elected to the secession convention of Georgia in 1861, opposed and voted against the ordinance of secession in that body, but gave it his support after it had been passed by the convention against his judgement. He was elected by the convention to the Confederate congress which met at Montgomery, Ala., February 4, 1861; was chosen vice-president under the provisional government of the Confederacy, and afterwards, elected vice-president of the Confederate States for a term of six years, under what was known as the permanent government, in November, 1861. In April 1861 he visited Virginia on a mission under the  Confederate government, upon the invitation of that State and in February 1865, was one of the commissioners of the Confederate government at the Hampton roads conference. In 1866 he was elected a United States Senator by the first legislature convened under the new constitution, but was not allowed to take his seat. He was elected a Representative to the Forty-third Congress to fill a vacancy caused by the death of Ambrose R. Wright, from the Eighth district of Georgia, and was re-elected to the four suceeding Congresses by large majorities, resigned his seat last fall on being elected Governor of Georgia. He was succeeded in Congress by Sanborn Reese, and will be succeeded as Governor by James F. Boynton, of Spaulding county, president of the State senate. Mr. Stephens has been an invalid for many years, and for a long time partially helpless by reason of his sickness. He never married.

The Washington Post
March 5, 1883


The Cyclone in the South
Distressing Loss of Life in Interior Towns – Aid for the Sufferers

Augusta, April 25. – Accounts are received here from points in the interior with which there is no railroad or telegraphic communication report that the recent storm was very destructive to life and property. In Lincoln County, near Anderson’s Mill, the home of Tom Brock was destroyed. His wife was killed and he and his sons were seriously injured. A number of gin-houses and negro cabins in Lincoln, Talliaferro, and other counties above here were destroyed….

The New York Times
April 26, 1883

Alexander H. Stephens’ Remains

Atlanta, Ga., June 3. – The remains of the Hon. A.H. Stephens, which were deposited in the Catting vault in the city, will be removed to Liberty Hall, in Taliaferro County, on the 10th inst. The oration will be delivered by Gen. Toombs.

The New York Times
June 4, 1885

A Postmaster in Trouble
He Says He Will be Killed if He Persists in Holding Office

Edward L. Duckworth, recently appointed postmaster at Sharon, Taliaferro County, Ga., has represented to the Post office Department that he is prevented by threats of personal violence and hostile demonstrations from taking possession of his office. Several letters from Duckworth and others corroborative of his statements have been received at the Department giving details of the situation… Threats of personal violence, and even death, it is stated were publicly made and heaped upon him. On one occasions a coffin, labeled “Radicals must Died,” was placed on the porch of his house. A mob of angry men was almost constantly in front of his door making threatening demonstrations.

On another occasion a number of men, representing the unruly element, it is stated, entered his house, and by threats compelled him to sign a letter of resignation. As soon as they were gone, however, Duckworth telegraphed the Department that it was obtained while under duress, and asked that it be disregarded. On the 5th of the present month Duckworth wrote the Postmaster General that he could hold out no longer, fearing that he would be killed, and asked that his resignation be immediately accepted. After consultation with the President and First Assistant Postmaster General Clarkson, General Wanamaker last night telegraphed Duckworth as follows: Whatever power this department has will be used to protect you and put you in possession of the office to which you have been appointed……

He also ordered two postoffice inspectors to proceed immediately to Sdharon and investigate the whole matter. Attorney General Miller also ordered a United States marshal to the secene of the trouble. Buckworth was recommended for the office by a large number of reputable citizens including one or more of national influence, as an honest and capable man.

The Washington Post
February 9, 1890

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